A quick-thinking driver cheated death after his Mini Cooper flipped five times – despite unbuckling his seat belt on the third flip.
Barry Taker, 34, was driving at 70mph on the M6 when a lorry clipped the rear of his car, causing it to spin out of control.
The vehicle went into a ‘barrel roll’ – flipping five times before landing on its roof.
Every time it spun the roof was crushed closer to Barry’s head, so he unbuckled his belt on the third turn and lay flat across the seats.
The tiler reckons his “spine would have snapped” if he hadn’t taken evasive action – but instead he was able to crawl out of the window with minor cuts and bruising.
Barry, from Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, said: “I was driving at the speed limit when this lorry blindsided me.
“Suddenly I lost control of the steering wheel and the car.
“I managed to stop it going down the embankment, but I went back onto the main road – and that’s when the car flipped five times.
“Everything happened in slow motion – the airbag popping, the windows shattering.
“I can remember the whole thing.
“Something came over me in that moment. Call it instinct, or what you like – no matter the odds, I just knew this wasn’t the way I’m going out.
“The roof of the car got crushed every time it flipped, so without thinking at all I just took my seat belt off and lay across the front seats.
“When the car stopped flipping, all I was worried about was getting out of the car before it set on fire and burned me or exploded with me inside.”
The incident happened at around 2.30pm last Wednesday as Barry drove from Wishaw to Manchester.
After the car came to a rest he crawled through the front window, which, at 5ft 10in and stocky, was so tight “it was like trying to crawl through a cat flap or a letter box”.
Barry crossed the road and was bandaged by two women who has seen the collision and watched him clamber out the wreck.
Within minutes police, ambulance, and the fire brigade all attended the scene, inspected the Mini, and rushed Barry to Lancaster General Hospital.
Miraculously he suffered only a few head cuts, scrapes to his arm, and bruising.
He was discharged from the hospital at 7.30pm on Friday night, and advised not to drive for three weeks or play any contact sports.
Barry said everyone who’d either witnessed or rushed to the site of the collision apparently told him he was “lucky to be alive”.
Despite the odds, he said that he “just knew” he’d make it out alive.
“I remember, when the police came over, they kept telling me how lucky I was to be alive, and that they’d never known anything like this,” he said.
“I was shaken, and I feel exhausted. But I do feel very lucky.”